Wekken Sour for Sour Beer Day 2016!

wekken-sourOn this second Saturday of September in spirit of Sour Beer day we find ourselves enjoying a Brewmaster’s Collaboration. Left Hand Brewing Co. has graced us with their Wekken Sour, a unique blend of their Wake Up Dead Imperial Stout and De Proef’s Zoetzuur.

This 8.9% ABV pours nearly black and coffee-ground like with a rich cream colored foam head that clings to your glass.

On the first whiff, you are immediately hit by the tart flavors which are then followed up with notes of figs, chocolate covered cherries, and a woody, earthy scent.

Unlike the aroma, the flavor is much more nuanced and complex. As it hits your tongue, you get a sudden rush of tang that quickly passes and is overcome by the richness of roasted malts, leading to a smoother flavor reminiscent of cacao nibs as it washes down just in time for the herbal hop notes to come through and tie everything together beautifully with a dry crisp finish.

Although this beer is perhaps not the best choice for the weather at hand, it was a solid beer that I would definitely recommend to anyone who is looking to venture into the realm of sour beers.


Pints for Prostates Elevation Rare Beer Club Beer Naming Contest

Elevation BrewingThat’s right, we’re doing still yet ANOTHER beer naming contest! It’s just that we feel really bad for all the folks that still haven’t taken home the grand prize of a 6 month, 2-bottle membership to The Rare Beer Club, so we’re giving you still another chance…Make it count because there’s a good chance that this may be the last one this year. Don’t hold me to it. We still have slots in October and December to fill and I’d like to get as many exclusives in the club as possible this year.

This contest is our annual collaboration with Pints for Prostates, and this year Rick has secured Colorado’s Elevation Beer Company to be the honored brewery to create a beer to help PFP help educate dudes about getting properly screened for prostate cancer. Suffice to say…It’s a really worthy cause, people. The last time Elevation participated in this effort, they brewed an 8.5% smoked Dopplebock and the name that won the contest that year was one of my all-time favorites…Prostator!

I got super fired up when talking to head brewer and co-founder Christian Koch about the beer he has in mind this year. He said something like, “I’m thinking about a blonde barleywine kinda beer made with a shit-ton of wheat and aged in Sauvignon Blanc barrels…What do you think of that?” Just kidding. He didn’t say “shit-ton”, but I wouldn’t have been offended if he did. Anyway, I was thinking to myself, “Self…That sounds mighty fine to me! I’ve never heard of such a thing. Tell me more!”

So we’re calling it an American Wheat Wine. It’s being aged in freshly emptied Sauvignon Blanc barrels for six months. Been in barrels for a little over a month now and the nose is currently showing fruity white wine, light oak, and a mild hop bitterness. It’s going to pick up more of the barrel remnants, of course, as it rests longer. He’s making it with 50% malted white wheat. It’s gonna be pretty full bodied with a starting gravity of 25 plato (1.106 SG). Here are the tasting notes so far, straight from the brewer, that were no doubt composed when he snapped the photo in this post (what a sweet back porch, ya?): “This beer pours a beautiful golden color and has aromas of fruity white wine, light oak, and a mild hop bitterness. The flavor of our Wheat Wine is extremely complex. With 50% malted white wheat, is a full bodied beer with fruity notes of peach, lime, and passion fruit. This beer will age extremely well and flavors will meld and mellow over time.”

It’s gonna be cool.

Here’s what you need to know to play kids.

Entering the Beer Naming Contest

Although the new beer will only be available to members of The Rare Beer Club, both members and non-members are invited to enter the contest and submit up to three names for the new beer. The contest officially begins on Thursday, April 28th, 2016. Entrants will have until 2 pm PDT on Thursday, May 12th, to submit up to three names.

Finalists will be chosen by The Rare Beer Club, Pints for Prostates, and Elevation Beer Co., at which time contestants, club members, and the general public can vote for their favorite name. The winning entry will be announced on Friday, May 20th, and the contest winner will receive a 6-month, 2-bottle membership to The Rare Beer Club.

To receive this special beer, and many more, join the Rare Beer Club online or call 800-625-8238. Be sure to start your membership by September 2016, or earlier, to receive this exclusive beer from Elevation Beer Co.

Have fun!


Rare Beer Club – Upright Brewing Beer Naming Contest Finalists

Upright Brewing LogoOnce again, we’re giving you an opportunity to vote for something where you might actually like one or more of the candidates…Upright Brewing Company’s hoppy, brett spiked Belgian IPA which will be made exclusively for members of The Rare Beer Club!

We thought that perhaps, just maybe, your creative juices where tapped out after the 1200+ submissions we received in our last beer naming contest, but alas, you did not let us down and we received another solid response. Thank you for that.

It’s always a challenge to whittle down a sizable list of great beer names to just three finalists, but Alex, his team and I spent a couple hours laboring over our favorites and now you and your friends get to pick the winner!

Cast your vote here and make sure to do it before the contest ends a week from today on 4-22-16 at 10 am Pacific.


Another Chance to Name a Rare Beer Club Exclusive Beer crafted by Upright Brewing

Upright Brewing LogoSo we just closed out our last beer naming contest with Jolly Pumpkin and we know your brain is tired from the effort that went into coming up with so many killer names, but we need your help again!  We had so much fun allowing our members and the beer community at large to name several of last year’s Rare Beer Club® exclusives that we’ve decided to ramp up our game this year and have no less than three beer naming contests in the queue this year.  And since the beers we’re naming will be featured in July, August and September, we’re going to be running back to back contests for the next two months.  All in all, you’ll have 3 chances to name one of our up and coming beers and win a 6-month, 2-bottle membership to The Rare Beer Club. How cool is that?

This time we’re working with Upright Brewing up in Portland, OR.  I’m a big fan of Alex’s work.  I want to say they launched in 2009, about 3 years before we featured them for the first time, and I’ve been rattling his cage ever since to work with us again.  He’s a busy cat.  Straight up, one of the biggest challenges we face is planning far out enough to be able to feature the world’s best breweries.  Makes sense if you think about it. They make the best beer.  Everyone wants it.  Supply and demand baby. Supply and demand.  Anyway, we finally have liftoff Houston and it’s gonna be worth the wait.

Alex makes some of the best saisons in the country so we’re thinking it’s best to let him run wild with that and have some fun with hops and brett!  Here’s what he had to say about the project, “The more I think about it, I keep going back to a hoppy saison for an August feature. We have Five, which is kind of a pale ale crossed with European hopping and a somewhat clean “French-style” fermentation, but I’m thinking something way different, more like a Belgian IPA with some brettanomyces added at bottling, so it will start clean but get slightly earthy and a bit more tart over time.”

You know the drill by now, but just the same, here are the vital bits that you need to know about the contest:

You can submit up to three names by 2 pm PDT on Thursday, April 14th. Three finalists will be announced on Friday, April 15th at which time contest entrants, club members and the general public will be allowed to vote for their favorite choices. Contest winners will be announced on Friday, April 22nd. If your beer name is used, we’ll hook you up with a 6-month, 2-bottle membership to The Rare Beer Club.

To receive this RBC exclusive beer, you’ll need to be an active member of The Rare Beer Club in August of 2016 when it will be featured.

Alex’s only request on the name is to keep it short so that it works with his current label design…Like real short, preferably 10 characters or less so you’re gonna have to really get creative this time.  Have fun!


And we have a winner for the Jolly Pumpkin Beer Naming Contest!

rosie-in-windowThe people have spoken and we do in fact have a winner! There were over 1200 name submissions so it was pretty easy to find three finalists that I really dug and I’m quite pleased with the winner. The beer will be called “Rosie del Barrio” or Rosie from the hood which was submitted by Joshua Robinson. Congratulations Joshua! Well done. It’s really quite fitting. Rosie was definitely a neighborhood cat, always wandering into my neighbors open doors and windows, making himself at home. It was not unusual for someone to find him curled up on a couch or chair when they came home from work. He even set off my neighbor’s burglar alarm once when they were on vacation. Cops showed up, pistolas drawn, only to see an orange bolt of fur booking for the door when they arrived!

I’m a big fan of Jolly Pumpkin’s label art and I can’t wait to see the artwork on the label.

If you didn’t win this time, we’ve got two more contests coming right up. In fact we’ll be launching the next one in a couple days which will feature another Rare Beer Club® exclusive, this time crafted by Upright Brewing in Portland, OR. That beer will be featured in the club in August. After we name Upright’s beer, we’re going to need your help with our annual joint project with Pints for Prostates, an organization that promotes the importance of prostate screening though the beer community. This year we’ll be working with Elevation brewing and that beer will be featured in the club in September.

Thanks so much for all your help naming Rosie del Barrio everyone!